By Bob Goemans
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Flashlight Fishes

 Kryptophanaron alfredi (Atlantic Flashlight Fish)

Kryptophanaron alfredi
Silvester & Fowler, 1926

Atlantic Flashlight Fish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable


These fishes belong in the Order Beryciformes and Suborder Trachichthyoidei as members of the Family Anomalopidae (Flashlight Fishes) consisting of 5 genera, and 6 species. All are black with large mouths. They generally live in shoals inside caves and protected dimly lit areas. They have an organ, called a "photophore" below each eye that contains luminescent bacteria. The light produced can be turned on or off by either covering the organ with a moveable membrane, or rotating the organ in its socket. It is used to attract shrimps and small fishes.

Best kept in dimly lit tanks, these fishes need hiding places to take refuge from more active specimens. Keeping them with other low light species, such as cardinalfishes makes for a suitable environment. Live foods are usually needed to get them accustom to their surrounding, however frozen meaty-type foods can be substituted once they begin eating.

For in-depth information concerning these interesting fishes, checkout Reef Fishes Volume 1 by Scott Michael (ISBN #1-890087-21-1). You can see a review of this exquisite book by visiting my Product & Book Review page.

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